I arrived at the college Sunday afternoon and classes began bright and early Monday. Unsuspecting, as soon as I put my bags in my room, I was asked, "Do you want to go for a walk with us?" We returned over two hours later just in time to go to dinner. I'm not sure exactly where we went - through woods, fields, over bridges and into a village (may have been the village of Ware - pronounced "where") - but there was nothing for me to do except keep following if I wanted to get back to where we came from.
The buildings are old and really something to see (will post photos another time). The classes so far are interesting, and I thought that I would just post tidbits from what happens or quotables. While this college has degree programs, I am enrolled in a special 10 week course for those going directly to the mission field (just happens to have been recently designed by a couple of missionaries to Nepal, who happen to have done work at Anandaban (and know Murdo and the wife has a PhD in Molecular biology) and just happen to be here to observe the course so they can develop an online version). This week's focus is on "Who am I?" - biblical perspective and personality/learning style tests to advance our team making abilities.
- We need to be a community of learners. Student drivers with a learner's permit here must have an "L" sign clearly visible in their car. One of the teachers says this "Learning" symbol can also be a symbol of a vertical relationship to learn from God and and a horizontal relationship to learn from other people. We need both connections to be in a good position to learn.
- Elijah and his retreat to the mountain was used to investigate identity and mission issues. God knew the answers, yet twice He asked Elijah, "Why are you here?" using very intimate, soft language. What was his life context? He was an introvert, prone to depression yet thrust into a life of public ministry to people who really did not want to hear it. He comes to a place of crisis - time of judgment - in between success and failure in ministry. He runs. Advice says don't run from your problem, but often times we do. God meets Him, but doesn't give theological answers right away. He feeds him. In Jewish life, theology often comes from food. God then sends Elijah on the path where Israel started - the wilderness and Horeb - but he will meet God in a new way. There God says in a very soft, intimate and gentle whisper, "What's happening? What's going on?" God knows, so why does He ask...twice? To see things from God's perspective. Circumstances and crises are not about things - everything is about, to and through Him. So God asks Elijah gently, "Tell Me, what is going on?" God comes close, very close and gives Elijah a new calling, function and commission - to train people, anoint kings, to be a faithful servant to equip others. Elijah's role was changing, bringing new challenges and roles.
- So here are some points to think about - meditate on:
- So, what is your context? Into what circumstances has your life been drawn?
- What crisis are you facing? What decisions are you having to make?
- What are you doing here? What are you doing here in this position now with God?
- How does God come close to you?
- How do you hear Him? How do you know His call?
- What is God commissioning you to do?